Written by Valerie Holland
In the spirit of celebrating the 25th anniversary of, arguably, the most admired couple to grace a U.S. television screen, lets seriously discuss the long-lasting, put you in my Will, rub your feet every night, kind of love that we all seek. Michelle and Barack Obama celebrated 25 years of marriage on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. We all (well most of us) love the Obamas. From their beautiful daughters Sasha and Mila to their adorable dog Bo, we could not – and still cannot – get enough of their beautiful relationship.
Many of us search for that kind of love for a lifetime while others of us find it in high school with our Sweethearts. But for those of us stuck in the middle, why is it so hard to have this kind of relationship? As much as “#Baegoals” trends on social media, you would think it wouldn’t be that hard to find. We all have that one friend (or maybe that friend is you) who jumps from relationship to relationship trying to find “true love”. But for many of us it remains elusive. One author; however, claims to have the recipe.
Gary Chapman, speaker, marriage counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, discusses at length in this Bestseller how to mend, repair or start off a relationship on the right foot. The concept is somewhat ingenious. Just as we all speak different languages across the globe and even different dialects within the same regions, Mr. Chapman believes that there are 5 major Love Languages. The theory is that if you learn your own, as well as your partner’s, (and vice versa) you can have a successful relationship. Simple!
To elaborate, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch are the major languages that many of us speak in a relationship. Some are stronger than others but one is typically your dominant language. If you light up like Christmas from hearing encouraging words and affirmations from your spouse, this is likely your language. If you can’t stand for your partner to watch television or text on their phone when spending time together, Quality Time might be yours. Would having your car washed by your partner and laundry done on a Saturday morning without you having to ask give you butterflies? Then Acts of Service may be your native love tongue. Thus, the goal is to regularly speak your partner’s language (even if you have to learn it), to keep the relationship healthy.
The book even breaks down the falling-in-love infatuation period we all chase and explains why, in any long-term relationship, it eventually fades (usually after 2-3 years). This may also explain why some of us jump from relationship to relationship in search of those “butterflies” but we fly the coup once they have disappeared. According to the book, we have been swindled into believing this obsession period is the baseline for a relationship rather than just the beginning.
All couples go through ups and downs, and even the Obamas must have their disagreements. We have all likely heard the age-old adage that relationships are “hard work” but we don’t seem to take this literally. I know at least, I was of this school of thought until recently. I thought love was supposed to flourish “naturally” too.
So if you also think relationships are supposed to be sparkles and sunshine and you consider the Curry’s, Ciara and Russell Wilson or Will Smith and Jada Pinkett as #BaeGoals, but find yourself single every 6 months, this book is a great start. It retails for $9.59 on Amazon and comes even cheaper in the Kindle format. If you have found yourself in a dead or dying relationship and want to try one more time, this 10 bucks couldn’t hurt a thing. Let us know what you think or if you’ve already read the book, how is it working for you? It has a strong 5-stars on Amazon, has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 8 years running and oh yeah, it’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary as well. So if you want to find love and keep it, what have you got to lose?